Project: Redesign, Information Architecture
Biddlist is a repository of creative agencies that can be filtered by focus or location. The contracted team was tasked with redesigning the site to be a fully-filterable, searchable resource for individuals and brands to easily discover consultancies and agencies. The primary objectives defined for this project include: comprehensive filter functionality, login/user profile feature, and the addition of an industry resource page. Information architecture and content strategy would be as much of a focus as design in order to turn this basic website into a user-friendly resource for the 21st century.
Site analyses were conducted of the old website to validate original objectives and determine user needs for the redesign. Methods such as heuristic analysis, user journey mapping, and user flows helped in pinpointing the main areas of opportunity. From the heuristic analysis, we found the site fell short in Findability, Clarity, Communication, Credibility, Control, and Delight. The lack of functionality led users to leave the site with little to no interaction.
As part of our discovery research, over 15 competitor sites were analyzed. The most common filters included location, company size, industry expertise, types of service, and keyword search. Through card sorting and user interviews, we were able to validate that users search by the highlighted criteria in addition to company affiliation.
20 user interviews were conducted. Biddlist did not have a main user base, therefore interviews were conducted with target audiences defined: Job Seekers (primary), Companies Seeking Agencies (secondary), and Agency Representatives (secondary). From these interviews, 4 personas were developed with their corresponding use cases that would influence the overall design.
When I am searching for agencies, I want to be able to filter by location, so I can narrow my job search for companies that are closest.
When I am searching for agency services, I want to be able to see work examples, so I can determine whether the agency’s aesthetics fit my needs.
When I’ve discovered an agency of interest, I want to see how I’m connected through my network, so I can reach out with a warm introduction.
When I am pitching our agency, I want to get the point across that we specialize in niche industries and services, so there is a better chance of us winning the work.
Features were prioritized based on persona needs. Methods such as affinity mapping helped us determine trends. All of the user research pointed to the need for:
- Site Description
- Search Filters / Search Bar
- LinkedIn Integration
- Featured Content / Agencies
- Signup Incentive
- Detailed Agency Profiles
- Recommended Agencies
Previous discussions with the client hinted to additional features, however it was important to develop a strong minimum viable product before rolling out more advanced features.
Homepage content is key — it is the first page users interact with and it decides whether or not they stay or bounce. We went through 4 iterations to further clarify site purpose as users were still having issues grasping the connection between Biddlist and agency search.
On the Agency List Page, usability tests unveiled issues with iconography. From the conducted interviews, users expressed a need for quickly saving agencies they were interested in. However, hearts and stars signified "favorites", whereas users only wanted to save the agency versus "liking" it. This was resolved using a bookmark icon and help text.
The original site flow took users away from Biddlist once they found an agency; there was no content related to the agencies listed. To provide users with the content desired and further help with SEO, we developed the Agency Profile Page. These profile pages would give users a snapshot of what the agency is about, including description, services, industry expertise, and work examples.
The final prototype demonstrates how a user may interact with Biddlist when landing on the site for the first time. Final testing confirmed the design to be usable, with the target user base expressing enthusiasm for this resource.